Notorious war criminal Joseph Kony sues Ugandan government for peace

Leader of Lord’s Resistance Army Joseph Kony is seeking “peace and forgiveness” from the Ugandan government. Kony was asked to sign a peace agreement in 2008, The East African reports, but refused to take part in it, leaving room for questioning his motives in the letter claiming peace between the LRA and President  Yoweri Museveni.

“I want to assure the people of Uganda that, we [LRA] are committed to a sustainable peaceful political settlement of our long war,” the letter reads according to EA. “I am pained to see the loss of life brought by the fight … President Museveni should take blame for splitting South Sudan.”

Kony and the LRA have been active in northern Uganda since 1986 as a violent opposition force to the Ugandan government, according to the U.S. State Department. At the height of the internal conflict, more than two million people in northern Uganda were displaced. Despite withdrawing from Uganda in 2006 and re-locating to several neighboring countries, the LRA is still active and designated as a terrorist organization.

The LRA is widely known in the U.S. due to a campaign in 2012 led by the organization “Invisible Children.” An online video that exposed the crimes the LRA was involved in became the “fastest growing viral video of all time,” the official Invisible Children website states. This launched the “KONY 2012” campaign, a movement that took the top spots in trending topics on Twitter and other social media with the hashtags #stopkony and #kony2012. However, the movement fell out of the public’s favor after its Californian founder, Jason Russell, was arrested for public nudity.

(Photo courtesy of flickr user Best Planet)

BBC reports that the Obama administration sent troops to Africa to work with the local forces to find Kony, who is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The LRA is blamed for “abducting children to serve as sex slaves and child soldiers” and mass murders and rapes. Along with the U.S. government, the International Criminal Court has been searching for Kony to have him arrested.

Uganda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello-Oryem, is waiting to have a phone conversation with the LRA leader to discuss his letter for the Ugandan people, but Kony fears that he could be traced and arrested. He is “worried that U.S. satellites operating in the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR) and the region would locate him,” according to BBC. Kony previously agreed on an assigned time to call Okello-Oryem, but he did not come through.

Other topics addressed in the letter were that the LRA should not be blamed alone for the murders, claiming that some massacres were committed “to spoil [his] name” by the government. He asks the ICC to consider President Museveni’s fault as well.

Media Centre leader Ofwono Opondo rejects the LRA’s talks for peace, saying Kony “wasted the opportunity to hold peace talks” in 2008 and asks him to surrender himself, the EA reports.

“The allegations against the President are wrong as people of Northern Uganda know who exactly cut off their lips and raped them,” Opondo said, the EA reports.